As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you are the face of your business. You are the one making all the decisions, building relationships with your audience, and representing your brand. So it’s important that your customers and potential clients can easily find and connect with you on a personal level. One way you should be doing that, an easy win, is to show up through imagery on your website, and it’s something I still see many people avoiding.
I get it. When I started my own business many moons ago (almost 20 years now!), I was so hesitant to put pictures of myself on my site. My job wasn’t about me – it was about my clients! I was also afraid of being judged… at the start of my photography career I struggled a lot with imposter syndrome and it took many, many years for me to feel worthy when it came to putting myself out there and talking about what I did. And hiding my face was easy to get away with back then, as personal branding wasn’t really a thing. Nevertheless, as I grew with my business I realised that my website was missing something. And it was the personal touch that only my presence could bring.
So I eventually took the step to add pictures of myself to my website. And it made a huge difference. Not only did my website look more professional, it also felt more personal. And people were able to gain a level of confidence and comfortableness with me that helped convert them to clients before they had even met me. It makes sense though, doesn’t it? When your customers see pictures of you on your website, they get a sense of who you are and what you stand for. They see the person behind the business, and that makes it easier for them to trust you and want to do business with you. Of course, the opposite can also happen when you share imagery of yourself, and there will always be some people who won’t connect with you – but that’s okay too, they’re just not your people!
Today’s market is all about connection. It’s no longer possible to hide behind your logo and get away with it. Customers want to connect with the people behind the brand, they want to know that they’re doing business with someone who can relate to them and understand their needs. This connection is what sells in today’s market, and it’s what will set you apart from your competitors.
But having images of yourself on your website isn’t just about building trust and connecting with your customers. It’s also about inspiring others. Especially as a female entrepreneur, you are a mirror for other women in business. By putting yourself out there and showing the world what you’re capable of, you’ll be inspiring others to believe in themselves and do the same. They’ll see you and know that it’s possible to be successful and to make a difference in the world.
Hopefully, by now you’re convinced about the importance of using personal branding photos on your site. But WHERE you put these images is also important. Don’t make people dig around to find a photo of you – put it front and centre! Why? Because when someone lands on your website, they need to connect with you within a few seconds, which makes including an image of yourself on the home page essential (extra points if you’re in the banner or above the fold). If people can’t make that connection quickly, they’re likely to move on to the next website. It’s common knowledge that the About page is the second most visited page on websites after the Home page, so why not just give people a shortcut?
And it shouldn’t just stop at your profile photo. (Nope, one image is NOT enough.) You should be using a variety of images to show people different sides of your personality, job, or lifestyle. And if you need to show someone working with a client, or handling a product? Instead of using stock, put yourself in the images. Stock images can feel inauthentic and generic, a vibe that viewers will pick up on immediately, and they don’t tell the true story of your brand. Your customers want to see the real you, not a picture of someone else who doesn’t represent your business.
Similarly, a poor quality photo of yourself, or one that doesn’t truly reflect you and your personality, will also give the wrong impression and send people away. Which, of course, is why it’s important to invest in professional brand images. (I know a good photographer, let me know if you need her name 😉 )
To wrap up, first impressions are crucial in today’s online world, and having images of yourself on your website is a great way to make a personal and authentic connection with your customers. Using stock images can immediately disconnect people from your brand, so make sure your images are good quality, genuine, and show the real you. Connection is what sells in today’s market, and it’s no longer possible to hide behind your logo and get away with it. And if you’re still hesitant about sharing images of yourself on your website, just remember, by putting yourself out there you’re not only building trust and connecting with others, you’re also inspiring them to be their best selves.
So, if you’re not already, get out there and start sharing your images on your site.
What have you got to lose, except business?
Need some authentic personal branding imagery for your website? Get in touch and let’s work together so you can stand out and connect more easily with your audience!